The most beautiful theories, the most admirable sermons, the highest principles are worthless if they cannot be made to work or cannot be applied to every-day life. To preach a perfection which, basically would be only a myth, an ideal so ethereal that no creature under the sun could attain it, even by torturing himself with the best of good will, would be a cruel game of deceitful irony, a dangerous folly accountable to human and divine laws.
Does the spirit of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem belong to that unattainable category? Can the Religion of the Knights Hospitallers be only a dream as noble as it is unworkable and romantic? History rises in protest against that doubt. It shows us a whole phalanx of holy men who attest for us by their entire e lives that what is impossible for men is made possible for them by God.
We must, therefore, enter into the secret garden of Malta. and smell its hidden flowers. Too well hidden! It would be desirable that the admirable figures of saints formed by the spirituality of the Order be better known. They would be the most conclusive and convincing of pleas against those w ho proclaim chivalry worn out, finished, obsolete, anachronistic. This institution which produced such high virtues and such sublime sacrifices can never in eternity lose its value, its need to exist, its present interest.
Blessed Gérard Tonque | Blessed Raymond du Puy | Blessed Peter d'Imola | St. Hugh | Blessed Gerard Mecatti | Blessed Gerland | St. Nicaise | Blessed Garcia Martinez | Blessed Adrian Fortescue | Blessed Vilmos Apor | Blessed Nonius Alvares Pereira | Blessed David Gunston
After this purple-red sheaf: noble thistles, passion flowers and blossoms of the trees of Judea let us go to pick a few bouquets of lilies, roses, and violets in a less tumultuous and noisy flowerbed. After having admired the example of the Knights, let us offer our enraptured homage to their sisters in the Order of Saint John.
The Women of the Order | St. Ubaldesca | St. Toscana | St. Fleur | St. Magdalena Sophia Barat
But since there have always been people with somewhat "police-like" minds who demand of the old saints their papers, their passports, and their credentials, we shall offer to their too-distrustful curiosity this test of the learned Pacaudius, inspired by that of Pope Benedict XIV, in his De Canonizatione, Book II, Chapter IX, etc. They may find distraction in translating it in their moments of doubt and suspicion.
The text of this page is quoted from: Ducaud-Bourget, Msgr. François: The Spiritual Heritage of The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Vatican 1958
Recommended literature: Dimech, Mgr. John: The Saints and Blessed of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Malta 1998 [The illustrations from Collegio, Malta, are taken from this publication]
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